Rubio: Franken ‘Should Consider Resigning’ Over Misconduct Allegations

Alex Edelman/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Sunday suggested that his colleague, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), should consider resigning over allegations of sexual misconduct.

In an interview with CBS Miami, which was recorded Wednesday but aired Sunday, Rubio said that even the accusations that Franken has admitted to so far should be enough to make him “consider resigning.” But Rubio said he would wait until the completion of an ethics probe before he makes a final judgement.

“I think the allegations against him, many of which he’s admitted, are horrifying, but at this point he’s going to be before the ethics committee and I would say in fairness, he has, although I don’t know, the things he’s already admitted to to be outrageous and offensive and I do think on that alone he should consider resigning,” he said. “But he’s going to go through the same process (as Roy Moore would if he were elected) and there’s going to be evidenced testimony and I think we’ll have to make a decision based on that. And we may end up voting on that.”

Several women have come forward in the past two week, claiming Franken groped them during photos opportunities. One LA radio host said Franken forcibly kissed her when the two were on a USO tour in 2006. She’s also shared a photo that appears to show Franken reaching toward the woman’s breasts while she slept.

Franken has since apologized for the allegations that the radio host, Leeann Tweeden, brought forward and has said he’s sorry that the other women felt “disrespected,” but claims he doesn’t remember the photos. During an interview with a Minnesota TV station on Sunday he couldn’t unequivocally deny that he had ever placed his hand on a woman’s butt during a photo.

When asked whether groping a woman’s butt is grounds for expulsion from the Senate, Rubio said “I believe it is,” especially when it occurs during a person’s Senate term.

“Now we’re saying even before you served in the Senate (and) there’s evidence that you did in the past, thats something we could expel you for,” he said. “And look, everything that’s happening now is an important conversation that’s long overdue in our country about what’s appropriate and … I think it’s a moment of reckoning. A lot of this has been occurring for a long time and for a variety of reasons it never came forward.”

Rubio also had some harsh words for Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, saying he finds the women who have come forward with accusations against Moore to be “credible.” Rubio said if Moore is elected he anticipates Moore “will find himself immediately in an ethics situation or some other hearing where perhaps even more will be revealed.”

“I don’t think anything he’s done or said in the last two weeks has been convincing or effective,” he said.

Multiple women have come forward accusing Moore of pursuing relationships or making inappropriate sexual advances toward them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. One woman said she was only 14-years-old when the alleged misconduct occurred. Moore has denied any wrongdoing.

Watch the interview below:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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